You Made the Card!

Posted in Feature on September 30, 2013

By Ethan Fleischer

Ethan Fleischer works for Magic R&D as a designer. He can sing, but not dance, and is an indifferent fencer. He lives near Seattle with his wife, three sons, and mother-in-law.

It's been a lot of work, but we've finally come to the end of the road with You Make the Card 4! The votes for the final card name have been tallied, and the finished painting has been sent to Wizards of the Coast by Matt Stewart. But here I am, nattering on, when you want to see your card!

This is merely a mock-up. The final card will look somewhat different, as it will be typeset, have an expansion symbol, collector's number, etc. The set this will appear in has not been announced yet.

As you can see, the card name "Waste Not" was selected by the voters. Waste Not was unique among the eight choices in that it was the concept name for the card, included with the art description written by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes.

Here are the vote results, complete with information about who submitted what.

Total Votes: 26428
  • Waste Not: 6101 votes, 23.1% of the vote
    Submitted by: Jennifer Clarke Wilkes
  • Necroharvest: 5243 votes, 19.8% of the vote
    Submitted by: Gus Carson and Enrique Islas Miranda
  • Spoils of Misery: 4888 votes, 18.5% of the vote>
    Submitted by: William Viau
  • Carpe Noctem: 3630 votes,13.7% of the vote
    Submitted by: Mario Castillo
  • Vile Plunder: 2786 votes, 10.5% of the vote
    Submitted by: Reggie Sauls
  • Riches from Rags: 1730 votes, 6.5% of the vote
    Submitted by: Wil Blanks and Steve-O
  • Skullduggery: 1587 votes, 6.0% of the vote
    Submitted by: Michael Bahr, Noah Barron, David Felton, Travis Froggatt, Jon Gillespie, Stephen Hagen, Nik Porter, Joseph Sedita, Alex Van Sickler, and Art Wolff
  • Drudge Rummage: 463 votes, 1.8% of the vote
    Submitted by: Reuxben

Jennifer Clarke Wilkes

Jennifer came to Wizards of the Coast in 1995 as the editor for Ars Magica. She later moved to editing Magic: The Gathering until 1999, when she became an RPG editor. She has been involved with many games in the company, from writing world documents and flavor text, to playtesting various TCGs and board games, to occasionally trying her hand at RPG design. In January 2013, she returned to Magic, joining the creative team. A Classics major, she is very excited about Theros!

The casting cost of Waste Not was chosen by the Magic development team. We've playtested the card with cards that are upcoming in Standard, and found it to be a lot of fun when it cost 1B. Generally, cards that make the opponent discard more than one card start at around three mana, so two mana seemed like the best cost for Waste Not. On your third turn you can start generating value and making your opponent squirm.

At the end of most of the previous You Make the Card promotions, Mark Rosewater summarized how you made the card. Who am I to buck tradition? How did You Make the Card this time?

We kicked off You Make the Card 4 with a vote on card type .

You Make The Card 4 - Card Type
Land 23564 26.56%
Enchantment 23538 26.53%
Creature 20744 23.38%
Artifact 10511 11.85%
Instant/Sorcery 10356 11.68%
Total 88713 100.0%

The vote was super close, so we did a run-off vote to ensure the majority of players were heard. This resulted in an upset.

Card Type Run Off
Enchantment 38936 51.3%
Land 36954 48.7%
Total 75890 100.0%

Having established the card's type, you voted on the card's color.

Poll #3 Card Color
Black 18552 31.1%
Red 16105 27.0%
Green 9299 15.6%
Blue 8052 13.5%
White 7648 12.8%
Total 59656 100.0%

Then you voted on whether the card should be an Aura or not .

YMTC Vote #4: Aura or Global?
Global enchantment 40489 85.4%
Aura 6907 14.6%
Total 47396 100.0%

Then we opened up submissions of rules text to those of you living in Canada and the United States. The outcry from international quarters was swift.

Then you voted on the Top 8 rules text submissions.

Consuming Contract vs.
Double Down
Consuming Contract 32310 61.5%
Double Down 20204 38.5%
Total 52514 100.0%
Blood in the Watering Can vs.
Mass Mummification
Blood in the Watering Can 25600 50.2%
Mass Mummification 25411 49.8%
Total 51011 100.0%
Soulfeaster's Rising vs.
Revenge of Necromancy
Soulfeaster's Rising 14034 27.3%
Revenge of Necromancy 37305 72.7%
Total 51339 100.0%
Eldritch Rites vs.
Demonic Bargain
Eldritch Rites 26941 61.5%
Demonic Bargain 16853 38.5%
Total 43794 100.0%

And the top 4 .

Consuming Contract vs. Blood in the Watering Can
Consuming Contract 15504 28.5%
Blood in the Watering Can 38977 71.5%
Total 54481 100.0%
Revenge of Necromancy vs. Demonic Bargain
Revenge of Necromancy 46823 83.5%
Demonic Bargain 9188 16.4%
Total 56011 100.0%

And the top 2.

Blood in the Watering Can vs. Revenge of Necromacy
Blood in the Watering Can 12157 26.6%
Revenge of Necromancy 33503 73.4%
Total 45660 100.0%

Members of the creative team wrote several art descriptions . You voted on them.

Art Descriptions
Waste Not 8644 32.2%
Season of the Lich 7131 26.6%
Liliana's Wake 6895 25.7%
Necromancer's Call 2317 8.6%
Necromancy Ascendant 1842 6.9%
Total 26829 100.0%

Matt Stewart created three sketches. You voted for the best one .

Sketch A - (5924 votes, 19.9%)

Sketch B - (9657 votes, 36.2%)

Sketch C - (11709 votes, 43.9%)

We called for card name submissions. In response to the aforementioned outcry, we changed the rules to allow submissions from all nations.

We tried to run the name vote as a bracket, but encountered problems with the voting software. The process became so confusingly snarled that we decided to start over with a straight vote. Fortunately, we ended up with a clear mandate.

Final Name Vote
Vile Plunder 2786 10.5%
Drudge Rummage 463 1.8%
Waste Not 6101 23.1%
Spoils of Misery 4888 18.5%
Riches From Rags 1730 6.5%
Necroharvest 5243 19.8%
Skullduggery 1587 6.0%
Carpe Noctem 3630 13.7%
Total 26428 100.0%

I know some of you were frustrated with the snarls in the process. This really only mirrors what actual design and development is like. Because Magic is an ever-changing game, we have to constantly change how we do things. This means that problems are inevitable, but we treat mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve. We apply this philosophy to individual cards, to sets, and to our R&D processes. No two You Make the Card promotions have worked the same way, and I doubt that they will in the future, either.

You all did a great job, both in creating submissions and in voting to create a fun card that will enable a new style of deck that plays differently from anything I've seen before. Also, this You Make the Card was completed in record time! I am very proud to have had you all on my design team for the past few months. It's been a blast; let's do it again some time.

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